Irish suffer in learning process as Walker inspires England

IF THIS was a learning process for the Irish players, their coach Colin McEntee will have learned more than most of them in what was a high-skilled, highly entertaining uncapped Age Grade international at Anglesea Road yesterday.

The Irish got out of the blocks when out-half Cathal Marsh flew down the blind side to cut inside the last defender in the 16th minute for a try.

In response, England looked to loading the wider channels with their big runners. It paid dividends when, first, open side Chris Walker plunged for the line at the end of the first quarter and, second, number eight Will Skuse forced his way over from a quick tap penalty by scrum-half Dan Robson. Out-half George Ford converted for a 12-5 interval lead.

Even though JJ Hanrahan reduced the deficit to four with a penalty from straight in front of the posts, the bulk and power of the English started to have was proving difficult to contain.

Walker powered over for his second, centre Elliot Daly scooted around the outside for their fourth and left wing Charlie Walker came off his left foot for their fifth try before Ireland open side Aaron Connelly charged through for a consolation at the finish.

IRELAND: M Sherlock (Clontarf); M Corballis (St Michael’s), P Nelson (Royal Dungannon), J J Hanrahan (UL-Bohemian), S Layden (Cistercian, Roscrea); C Marsh (Trinity College), K Marmion (University of Wales); R Jablonski (London Irish), N Scannell (Dolphin), K McCall (Ballynahinch), D O’Shea (Crosshaven), I Henderson (Queen’s University), C Gilsenan (Clongowes Wood, capt), A Conneelly (Corinthians), J Conan (St Gerard’s).

Replacements: S Buckley (Garryowen) for O’Shea 30 mins — temp — & 50 mins; D Merrey (Clontarf) for Jablonski 49 mins; S Murphy (Gonzaga) for Layden 55 mins; C Spence (Queen’s University) for Marmion 56 mins; S O’Connell (London Irish) for Conan 58 mins; J Murphy (Banbridge) for Henderson 60 mins; D Higgins (Gallen CS) for McCall, J Carty (Buccaneers) for Marsh both 68 mins.

ENGLAND U19 ACADEMIES: B Ransom; C Wilson, E Daly, R Mills, C Walker; G Ford (capt), D Robson; N Auterac, W Tanner, A Brennan, G Merrick, W Carrick-Smith, B Nutley, W Skuse, C Walker.

Replacements: J Holmes for Robson ht; M Hearn for Auterac, T Bell for Mills both 51 mins; J Hodgson for Ford, D Lee for Carrick-Smith both 55 mins; E Waller for Tanner 61 mins.

Referee: P Haycock, IRFU.

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